Jesus is real. He’s not a nice idea, or someone who lived long ago. He’s real now.
I was driving to my Tuesday adoration hours this afternoon when a very joyful young woman on the radio emphatically stated the above words. Coincidentally, she was sharing her own experiences with Our Blessed Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.
“We cannot conceive how much our visits mean to Him,” she went on. Then she shared this little story:
I had promised to make a holy hour each day during Lent. But one night, I got home really late, and I decided to go to bed instead. But, the Lord was relentless. My conscience kept bothering me and so I got up and got dressed and went to the chapel.
I tried to stay awake, and after checking my watch, I saw that 50 minutes had passed. Is it okay if I leave now, Jesus? It’s almost an hour. Then I heard in my heart these words, “Before you go, open the bible.” So, I did, and it opened to Matthew 26:40, “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” Oh no! I’m so sorry, Jesus. I’ll stay.
And then she went on to talk about how crazy in love with each of us Jesus is. How it matters; it really matters that we spend time with Him.
Funny….earlier today I was going through a box of old books, and thumbed through one about some private revelations concerning the Eucharist from Jesus to a nun in Kenya. ” I count your very breaths, your every heartbeat. You cannot imagine My Love for you….and I am abandoned here in My tabernacle.” I put that book in the save pile.
Listening to that joyful young woman on the radio this afternoon gave me much to ponder when I reached the chapel….three minutes late. My prayer partner is always on time, so it never occurred to me that being one to five minutes late, as I often am, mattered that much. But today I realized that it matters very much to Jesus.
When you love someone deeply, you cannot wait to see them again. When my son and his wife came for dinner Sunday, I was so excited when I heard their car in the driveway.
But Jesus! Who can measure His Love for us? He sold Himself for me, for you. I know He thought about us while He hung on that Cross. And because He is God, He could think of each and every one of us by name. I think He did that. I think His Love, not His Power, was the strength that kept Him on that Cross.
What did He see, looking down through the ages? Who would return His Love? Is that why He cried out, “I thirst!” Did He see the paltry return most of us would make for His entire gift of Himself?
Did He see me, taking a break, between my 4pm and 5pm holy hours? While it’s true that because I am the only adorer at 5pm, I often need to grab a little snack before my 4pm prayer partner leaves…because I tend to get low blood sugar symptoms at the 6pm Mass, if I don’t.
But, how many times have I checked phone messages while in the car getting my snack? Or even texted a quick reply to someone? Or put on some lipstick? And yet, Jesus was counting the minutes. Jesus, was in the chapel waiting, while I wasted time that I had promised to Him.
Jesus is real! But, He is so much more than that. He is God, and He loves us beyond anything that we could desire or dream of or hope for. The Saints tell us that we would literally die if we could for a moment experience that Love in Its Fullness.
St. Therese experienced a few moments of only a touch of this Divine Love a few days after she had made her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love, and she declared that she would have been dead, had It lasted a second longer. She was on fire!
I thank Jesus that I heard that young woman on the radio today. It was like He was saying to me:
Remember a long time ago, when you first began to come? Remember when spending hours with me was so new to you?
You brought Me flowers, and you knelt the whole time just gazing at Me. You were so careful to bow reverently, and you hated so much to leave Me when our time was over.
Let it be like that again. I so long for your love, and every moment is precious to Me. Don’t waste even one when you are here.
Most of all, fall in love with Me again…and again. Just as I am forever and eternally in love with you, My precious child.